Whenever I think about the Internet, social media, and its intersection with my life, it kind of all comes down to sex.
I started blogging about consent and relationships in 2009, and ever since I’ve tried to utilize the web to educate widely around consent. I started with Where Is Your Line? / THE LINE Campaign / everything about Nancy Schwartzman and Melissa Gira Grant, and then (con)sensual happened, and then I extended my work to Autostraddle, where I got to finally dig into the intersectionality of consent and queerness. Everything intersects, you know. Especially since if it wasn’t for Autostraddle, who knows how many lesbians would not be feeling confident about having sex at all ever. Seriously. It’s a thing that freaks people out.
I plan to devote my research project and this blog to that very intersection: queer people, sex, and the Internet. When you say those three words most people see “OK Cupid.” I see “information.” I see the Autostraddle tag for “lesbian sex,” and the specific article “How to Have Lesbian Sex for the First Time.” I see people with no resources in their community, no gay sex in their health curriculum, no access to information on how to actually have fun using the worldwide web to figure it out anyway.
The Internet is powerful because it holds information – but for queer people, that information might be vital. And because the Internet is, for the most part, quite broad and welcoming to all people, widely accessible in the United States, and one of the few modern spaces where queer women have a place in which to speak to one another, I want to look closely on its role as an educational tool for them in their sexual lives.
I will be reading academic research into the web’s role on queer sexual health information, analyzing articles online focused on the topic of girl-on-girl sexual encounters and relationships, and examining more closely online communities and cultures of queer women to see how they present information to one another about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and, well, for God’s sake, how to have sex at all.
The Internet is the new forefront for education. But for people who didn’t learn anything that applicable in sex education, it’s the entire classroom experience. I want to examine how that changes the understanding of sex for queer people, and how the Internet has impacted their sexual lives.